The town of Woodbury was interested in exploring the market economic feasibility of a 7.6-acre site in the town’s Middle Quarter District, which consists primarily of retail establishments. The town wanted to consider the economic development possibilities for that site, keeping in mind the town’s overall character, demographic and economic trends, infrastructure limitations, and cultural assets. How the Middle Quarter District fit into the economies of the town and the region were also important them.
CERC used various data sources and methods of analysis to conduct this study. Both demographic and economic trends were analyzed to understand the underlying composition of demand within the town. A retail gap analysis was conducted to ascertain the current retail demand within five, ten, and thirty minute radii of the interested property and also to assess the potential retail opportunities. Finally, real estate professionals were surveyed and an online survey for residents was analyzed in order to obtain qualitative data concerning the potential development of the Middle Quarter District property.
The study found that the town of Woodbury has unique assets and is positioned as the gateway to Litchfield County for visitors coming from the east and points south. However, given the sluggish retail market and overall slow economic recovery, Woodbury needs to create attractions and events that will draw in visitors before new retail developments can occur. The town should complement its assets and attractions when considering retail opportunities – big box retail can be found in nearby towns so Woodbury should seek retail that will complement its New England charm and provide services for its residents and visitors.